Janice Cox

Turn Your Bath Into A Spa

 

We can all use a bit of pampering every now and then but a trip to a high end resort or spa may not be on your calendar or in the budget.  Not to worry with just a few simple “At Home” touches you can turn your own bathroom into your own private retreat.  Here are some Easy spa touches that anyone can do:

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Fresh Cucumber Slices 

Immerse fresh cucumber slices in water for half an hour in your refrigerator.  Lie down and place them on closed eyes.  Water makes cucumbers cool, gelatinous and very soothing.  You can also Create a soothing facial mask using fresh sour cream, honey or a bit of cooked oatmeal.

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Spa Towels: 

Soak cotton hand towels in warm water with a couple of drops of your favorite essential oil (lavender, peppermint, sweet orange). Wring out and roll up.  Microwave for 20 seconds.  Massage a rich lotion or natural oil into your hands and feet and wrap then with these warm spa towels.

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Music: 

LIsten to soft music thats evenly paced with minimal lyrics or use nature sounds to set a soothing mood in your spa room (bathroom).

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Tea:  

Make a pot of chamomile or your favorite herbal tea to sip in your bath.  Use a favorite cup and really treat yourself.

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Bath Salts: 

Mix up these relaxing bath salts and soak for 20 to 40 minutes.  Really take the time to relax and unplug .  You may also want to light candles or place a bouquet of fresh flowers on the counter to focus on.

Ingredients: 

2 cups epsom salts

1/2 cup baking soda

5-6 drops essential oil such as lavender or rosemary (optional)

Directions: 

Mix together all ingredients.  Pour into warm bath as your fill tub.  Stir until salts are dissolved.  Soak for 20 to 40 minutes.

Yield: 20 ounces, enough for one bath

 

You are beautiful and amazing!

xoxo Janice

 

Natural Beauty with Avocados

Since it is Friday and Avocado Season had to “reblog” TGIF

Janice Cox

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Avocados are a natural beauty staple.  These rich buttery fruits can be used by all skin and hair types  to moisturize, clean and hydrate.  They are rich in natural oil, protein, and vitamins.  Avocados also contain more protein than any other fruit.  They have been used  for centuries in hot and dry climates to protect the skin and hair.

A simple and nourishing hair conditioner is made by mashing an avocado and massaging it into clean, damp hair.  Let sit for a few minutes then rinse out with warm water.

Avocado oil is a pale green oil that can be found in the cooking oil section of most grocery stores.  It is made from the dehydrated flesh of the avocado.  It is excellent for moisturizing the skin and hair because it is light  and also has some sunscreening properties.  It makes a wonderful skin and hair oil. I also like…

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Make your Own “Yoga Mist”

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OMMMM  Yoga is one of the fastest growing activities in America according to a recent Wall Street Journal Article.  Nearly 15 million people practice yoga in the USA alone!  If you are part of this growing group  — I am!  You may want to enhance your yoga experience and practice a bit of aromatherapy also.  Like the practice of yoga aromatherapy helps the body,mind and spirit.

Here is a recipe for a simple “yoga mist” that you can create yourself.  it uses essential oils and besides boosting your energy it will also keep your mat clean and healthy too.

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Happy Body Yoga Mist 

Use this aromatic spray to create a clean and happy yoga environment.  Essential oils are easily found at most natural food shops and some grocery stores in the natural food section.

Ingredients:

1 /2 cup distilled water

8 drops of sweet orange essential oil

8 drops of tea tree oil essential oil

4 drops of lavender essential oil

Directions:

In a clean spray or mist bottle add the water and essential oils.  Shake gently to mix.  To use:  Mist over your mat and wipe with a clean towel.  You may also use to mist the air around you.  Just be careful in a public class to ask the people around you.  Some individuals are sensitive to scents.

Yield: 4 ounces

 

Namaste!

Janice

 

 

 

5 New Things for the New Year

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Happy New Year — I love this time of year as it gives us all a “fresh start” on the new year.  I like to try and set new goals for the year ahead and I usually keep this to a short list of three things that I want to accomplish.  I write these down on a post – it note and put on my bathroom mirror.  The amazing thing is they almost always happen.  Probably because I see this list everyday!  There are also some easy things you can do to jump start the new year and make it one of your best ever!  Here is my list :

 Take a detox bath

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This is a simple bath mixture that will help you relax, reenergize and rid your body of built up stress and toxins.  Make sure to drink plenty of water before and afterwards and not stay in your bath for more than 40 minutes.  It is best done in the evening before bed or when you have the time to rest afterwards to receive the full benefits from this bath.

Mix up this simple bath mixture

2 cups Epsom salts

1 cup baking soda

2 teaspoons ground ginger

Draw a hot bath and soak for 40 minutes.  You will feel all that 2015 gunk and toxins leave your body!

 

Go outside

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I have a friend that starts everyday standing outside in her bare feet winter or summer — this simple act of embracing nature and going outdoors will do wonders for your mind and body.  A recent study from the University of Rochester found being outside in nature makes you feel more energized and alive!

 

Sleep More

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Go to bed at the same time each day and try and sleep for at least 7 hours.  Beauty sleep is a very real thing.  Getting plenty of sleep is really necessary for optimal health and well being and a real crisis in our country, where many of us are sleep deprived.

 Take good care of your feet

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This is the year to learn to give yourself a really good pedicure and keep your whole body feeling energized. Here are some simple steps:

  1. Clean your feet and remove all old polish.
  2. Soak for 15 minutes in warm water, add a cup of vinegar to help soften rough skin.
  3. Scrub your feet with a wet pumice stone or natural brush and gently push back your cuticles.
  4. Trim toenails straight across.  Wet nails are easier to cut and you get a cleaner cut.
  5. Massage and moisturize your feet well with a rich cream or natural oil.

 

Plan an adventure

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Having something to look forward to is as much fun as the actual trip, class or get together.  This is the  100 YearAnniversary for the National Park Service  so maybe plan a road trip to a park near your home or across the country.

Happy New Year!!

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This is going to be your year — Own it!!

xoxo Janice

Natural Beauty with Sea Salt

On my recent trip to the island of Kauai,  I was lucky enough to visit a wonderful little company The Salty Wahine – they sell a variety of culinary salts featuring the Hawaiian red salt produced on the islands. This mineral rich salt gets it’s rosy hue from the natural volcanic clay on the islands. A short drive from their shop, is an actual salt pond where sea salt is made as it has been for centruries.

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Fresh ocean water is allowed to evaporate in small man made ponds leaving behind the pure sea salt. Salt is one of the oldest beauty ingredients and in fact was once used as currency in many parts of the world because of it’s value.

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I like to use sea salt in the bath a spoonful of coconut oil and a cup of sea salt thrown into warm bathwater leaves my skin clean, fresh and silky smooth.

Using sea salt in the bath creates your own “mini ocean” and recent studies have discovered that bathing in salty water not only detoxes the body but also makes our skin stronger and able to retain more moisture.

I also like to use sea salt in making body scrubs and polishes. Here is a simple recipe:

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Sea Salt Body Polish 

1 /2 cup sea salt

1 Tablespoon baking soda

2 Tablespoons light sesame oil

1 teaspoon vitamin E oil

Mix together all ingredients and stir well.  You may add a bit more oil if needed.  You want a smooth, grainy paste.  To use:  In the shower or bath massage into damp skin with long flowing strokes.  Avoid sensitive skin areas.  Rinse with warm water and pat skin dry.  note:  oil in scrub could make your shower floor a bit slippery, you may want to put a towel down to stand on.

Yield: 4 ounces

 

Enjoy and Glow!  You are beautiful

xoxo Janice

 

Natural Beauty with Avocados

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Avocados are a natural beauty staple.  These rich buttery fruits can be used by all skin and hair types  to moisturize, clean and hydrate.  They are rich in natural oil, protein, and vitamins.  Avocados also contain more protein than any other fruit.  They have been used  for centuries in hot and dry climates to protect the skin and hair.

A simple and nourishing hair conditioner is made by mashing an avocado and massaging it into clean, damp hair.  Let sit for a few minutes then rinse out with warm water.

Avocado oil is a pale green oil that can be found in the cooking oil section of most grocery stores.  It is made from the dehydrated flesh of the avocado.  It is excellent for moisturizing the skin and hair because it is light  and also has some sunscreening properties.  It makes a wonderful skin and hair oil. I also like to use it for making creams and lotions

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Avocado pits can be used to create an effective body scrub.  Simply mash or grind the fresh pits until you have a coarse mixture that can be added to body scrubs or mixed together with a bit of your favorite cleanser to keep skin fresh and clean. The ground pits turn a lovely shade of red when exposed to the air.  You can dry ground pits and store in airtight containers.

Here is one of my favorite Avocado facial recipes.  Use weekly for soft, smooth skin.

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Avocado Facial Mask 

1 /2 fresh avocado flesh

1 Tablespoon sour cream

1 teaspoon pure honey

Mix together all ingredients and stir well until smooth.  Spread on clean, damp skin and let sit for 15 minutes.  Rinse well with warm water followed a cool water rinse.

Yield: 3 ounces

For more ways to use and enjoy avocados visit California Avocados link.

Also inside every avocado is a free plant!  Simply  plant your pit and water. It may take several years for your own avocados but the tiny trees make lovely houseplants.

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Enjoy!  You are beautiful

xoxo Janice

 

 

Tropical Spa Treatments and Lokahi

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This week I am staying at The Kauai Hyatt and they have a wonderful tropical spa called “Anara” on the property.  The spa embraces the Hawaiian concept of Lokahi which means the closer you are to nature, the closer you are to discovering yourself. This is actually a practice we all can do very simply at home going outside and finding harmony and balance.

Here a few tropical spa treatment inspired by this Hawaiian spa that you can DIY at home.  Enjoy and Aloha

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Papaya Body Polish

Papayas are excellent skin softeners because they contain “papain” a natural enzyme.  In fact the greener the papaya the higher the papain content.  I like to use ripe papayas as I can enjoy the fruit for breakfast with a bit of lime and then use the seeds in this skin cleansing exfoliating body treatment.

Ingredients:

1 /4 cup fresh papaya seeds

1 Tablespoon sea salt or raw sugar

1 Tablespoon coconut oil

Mix together all ingredients in a blender or food processor until you have a coarse grainy mixture.  Spoon into a clean container.  To use:  Massage all over  your body with a clean loofa sponge or washcloth and rinse well with warm but not too hot water.

Yield: 2 ounces

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Coconut Lemongrass Body Polish

This is a good scrub for sensitive or aging skin as it is mild and hydrating.

ingredients:

1 /4 coarsely grated fresh coconut

2 Tablespoons raw sugar

2 Tablespoons coconut oil

2 teaspoons fresh lime juice

3-4 drops essential oil of lemongrass

Mix together all ingredients and spoon into a clean container.  To use:  In the shower or bath massage into damp skin using a clean loofah or cotton washcloth.  Rinse well with warm water.

Yield: 3 ounces

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Volcanic Pumice Foot Massage

Pumice stones are super cooled bits of lava.  You can use pumice stones to remove dead and rough skin from your feet.  They work best when wet.  Soak your stone for a few minutes in warm, soapy water.  You can add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to the water too.  Rub the stone gently over your skin.  You can also create pumice powder by taking a hammer and smashing your stone.  You can add this powder to your favorite rich cream and massage into your feet.  Pumice stones can be found at most pharmacies.

Aloha

Janice

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Natural Beauty with Coconuts

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This year I was lucky to visit the island of Kauai where “Tropical Ingredients” are easy to find and use.  One morning, my husband and I went for a walk along the beach and we found a coconut that had just fallen to the ground.  He peeled the outer husk off (which was not easy) and then we drained out the coconut water and cracked the nut open.  There is nothing like a fresh coconut to start your day!  Coconut is one of my favorite beauty ingredients the oil which is made from the nut flesh can be enjoyed head to toe and the coconut water which I love to drink is also a toning tonic for your complexion.

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The nice thing is today you don’t have to travel to Hawaii to enjoy coconuts they can be found in almost all grocery stores and coconut oil has become a cooking oil staple.  Many people use coconut oil today in place of butter in cooking and baking.  When I first started using this exotic oil I used to have to purchase it in asian markets today it is easy to find even Costco stocks huge jars!

Coconut oil is a solid white oil at room temperature than melts easily and is wonderful massaged into your skin after bathing to lock in moisture.  Some women even use coconut oil in their hair as a simple conditioner.  Also many body butters, lip balms and sugar and salt scrubs are coconut oil based.

Here are a few of my favorite coconut inspired recipes for you to try at home:

Coconut Almond Lip Gloss

1 teaspoon coconut oil

1 teaspoon almond oil

1 /2 teaspoon grated beeswax

Mix together the oils and wax and melt gently in the microwave or stove top.  Pour into a clean container and let cool completely.  To use: rub into your lips and enjoy

Yield: 1/2 ounce

Coconut Body Oil 

2 Tablespoons coconut oil

1 /2 Tablespoon grated cocoa butter

2 Tablespoons castor oil

Mix together all ingredients and heat gently to melt, stir well.  Pour into a clean container and let cool completely.  To use: massage a small amount into warm skin after bathing.

Yield: 2 ounces

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Coconut Water Skin Tonic 

1 /4 cup fresh coconut water

2 Tablespoons witch hazel

Mix all coconut water and witch hazel and pour into a clean container.  To use: Apply to your skin using a clean cotton ball.

If you have a favorite way of using coconut, coconut water or coconut oil let me know and I will share!

ALOHA

Janice

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Upcycle your Citrus Peels

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Whenever I use an orange or lemon in the kitchen I never discard the peel – I save it to use in my favorite DIY Beauty recipes.  Citrus peels make highly effective facial and body scrubs.  All of the essential oils are contained in the peel.  Dried peels can also be purchased in the spice section of your grocery store but it is so much easier (and more cost effective) to just make your own!

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Here is how easy it is:

Remove the colored part of the peel; this can be done with a zester or sharp paring knife.  Dry the peels thoroughly; this can be done four different ways:

  1.  Lay the peels on a rack to air dry near a sunny window.
  2. Place the peels in a microwave safe ceramic bowl and microwave on low until dry (about 5 to 6 minutes) allow to cool completely.
  3. Arrange the peels on a cookie sheet and place in a low temperature oven (150 degree) for several hours or overnight (remember to turn the oven off when you are sleeping).
  4. Use an electric food dehydrator and follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for drying citrus peels.

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Once dry you can coarsely grind in a food processor or clean coffee grinder until they’re the consistency of coffee bounds or fine cornmeal.  Place the group peels in a clean bowl.  Leave out to air-dry further if they are not completely dry after grinding.

Use the ground peels mixed in equal amounts with water, plain yogurt or your favorite cleansing product.  Other cleansing grains such as oatmeal and cornmeal can also be added to the orange peel for extra cleansing power.

You can also add the dried peels to sugar and salt scrubs and bath mixtures.  Here is a simple DIY recipe for Citrus Honey Bath Salts:

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Enjoy!

Janice

Heal, Balance, Restore – So Hum Meditation

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Om Shanti Shanti Shanti — Shanti means peace and that is how I feel right now after learning more about the power of Meditation.

Meditation is a state of “restful awareness”  through meditation we create our own reality and calm both our bodies and our minds.  A regular practice of prayer or meditation will improve your health.  By reducing stress you can improve your circulation, digestion, mood and improve your physical health.

I just took a short class at The Chopra Center at Lacosta in California and this is what I learned:

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So Hum Meditation

  • Sit comfortably where you will mot be disturbed, and close your eyes.
  • Take a slow deep breath through your nose while thinking the word, “So”
  • Exhaled slowly through your nose while thinking the, “Hum”
  • Continue breathing easily, silently repeating “So …. Hum” with each inflow and outflow of your breath.
  • Whenever your attention drifts to thoughts in your mind, sounds in your environment or sensations in your body, gently return to your breath, silently repeating, “So…Hum.”
  • Continue this process for twenty minutes with an attitude of effortlessness and simplicity.
  • When the time is up, sit with your eyes closed for a couple of minutes before resuming your daily activity.

I learned it takes a bit of practice and I actually think it is easier to do on your own than in a group environment.   I think for most of us quieting our minds and is hard but with practice and time you will find yourself letting go of thoughts and stress and finding peace.

Here are a few benefits that were listed in my class:

  •  Lowered blood pressure and hypertension
  • relief from stress, depression, and anxiety
  • Decreased cholesterol levels
  • Reduced production of “stress hormones” including cortisol and andrenaline
  • Increased gray matter in the hippocampus, a brain area important for memory and learning.
  • Increased production of the anti-aging hormone DHEA
  • Improved immune function
  • More restful sleep

I would take any one of these benefits!

Namaste

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xoxo Janice